In Wisconsin, one in four women is beaten, raped or stalked by a current or former intimate partner at some point in her life. That's 714,000 Wisconsin women, a group of people larger than the combined populations of the cities Milwaukee and Green Bay. The proportion of women who have been victimized is twice as large as the percentage of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. These statistics make it clear that, whether we realize it or not, we all know someone—probably many people—who have suffered because of domestic violence.
Domestic violence touches every community in Wisconsin.
We all know someone who has needed help.
Domestic violence victim services are cost-effective. They are life-saving.
More than nine out of ten victims (91%) know more ways to plan for their safety after working with a Wisconsin domestic violence victim service provider. And, 90% of victims report that they know more about community resources because of the help they received. Research has demonstrated that increasing victims’ knowledge of safety planning and community resources leads to their increased safety and well-being over time.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, through the Department of Children and Families (DCF), contribute funding to the domestic violence victim services providers and shelters across our state. Currently, DCF provides funds for victim services to 64 non-profit agencies, 11 tribes and two counties. In Wisconsin, victims and their children in every county and in every tribe have a place they can turn to.
Our Goal: To Give Every Victim and Every Child the Ability to Live Free from Abuse.
On a single day in Wisconsin, about 2,100 victims and children receive critical help from victim service providers. However, about 250 requests for assistance go unmet because local agencies don't have the necessary resources. In addition to being unable to offer any assistance to some victims, service providers and shelters struggle within the confines of austere budgets to meet the complex and significant needs of the victims they are serving. Wisconsin should close these gaps to diminish the high costs of abuse to individuals and communities.
The cultural, ethnic, geographical and racial diversity of our state should be one of its greatest strengths. Wisconsin communities are resilient and already possess the wisdom and potential to foster safe and healthy families. Services for victims and their children are most effective when they tap this potential, when they are by, for, and of the communities they serve. Ensuring that all victims feel comfortable and empowered to seek help for themselves and their children requires our collective commitment.